03-14-2010 10:06 PM
Here are some things you probably should see. In the 1970s following the wild success of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian title, DC Comics launched a title Beowulf, Dragon Slayer -- it bears little resemblance to the original -- there are women warriors (many teen aged boys like women warriors) -- one called Nan-Zee, and Hondscio is a woman too, who doesn't get killed by Grendel! And Wiglaf is with the young Beowulf, because comics about old guys fighting dragons don't sell. Check out the wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf_(DC_Comics)
John Gardner did a popular reworking of the Beowulf story focusing on Grendel: there is a link to the wikipedia entry on this -- you can also get the book on the B & N site:
There is an animated film of Gardner's novel that is a hoot -- it's called Grendel, Grendel, Grendel, and Grendel is voiced by Peter Ustinov. The Danes all refer to Grendel as the "great bogey," and speak with working-class English accents, while Beowulf sounds like he went to one of the colleges of Oxford or Cambridge. It is no longer available, but you might check local libraries to see if they can get you the video (yes VHS!) of the film.
Here is the IMDB posting for that film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082478/
There is a strange sci-fi version of the story (takes a lot of liberties -- there is probably more that is not from the work than from it) that came out in 1999, called Beowulf -- it stars Christopher Lambert as the hero. Here is the IMDB link for that film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120604/
And finally, we have the Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mom as a MILF. It has all the elements of the poem, but puts a rather original interpretation on the figures of Grendel's mom and the dragon. The film is adapted by Neil Gaiman, and directed by Robert Zemeckis -- the link is here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0442933/
Feel free to comment on any of this if you've read or seen any of it.